On the list of “Impossible Questions to Answer,” include this one: Which wine goes best with sushi?
That’s sort of like asking: Which toy goes best with Christmas?
Just as there are many kinds of toys, there are many kinds of sushi, each with a unique flavor profile that requires an individual approach to wine matching.
If only one answer can be provided, a fairly safe go-to choice would be Champagne or other sparkling wine. (Notice we didn’t mention what kind of Champagne or sparkling wine. Even this answer is not as simple as it seems.)
We asked the three big-time sushi eaters on our tasting panel to weigh in with specific wine picks for specific types of sushi. Use the following list as a “cheat sheet” the next time you visit a sushi bar and want to order a glass of wine.
* With a spicy tuna roll: an off-dry Riesling – one that has about 1 or 2 percent residual sugar.
* With a salmon roll – think pink. A dry Rose, such as the kind you’d find in southern France, would be wonderful. And be sure to chill it down.
* With a crab roll – a Gruner Veltliner from Austria, or a California Sauvignon Blanc. You’re looking for tart lemon or lime flavors to complement the sweet crab meat.
* With shrimp nigiri – Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio.
* With unagi nigiri – Gewurztraminer. Eel normally is topped with a spicy sauce, and the spicy quality of Gewurztraminer makes it the perfect pick.